Gestures, referents, and anaphoric linkage in learner varieties

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This paper discusses how the gestural modality can contribute to our understanding of anaphoric linkage in learner varieties, focusing on gestural anaphoric linkage marking the introduction, maintenance, and shift of reference in story retellings by learners of French and Swedish. The comparison of gestural anaphoric linkage in native and non-native varieties reveals what appears to be a particular learner variety of gestural cohesion, which closely reflects the characteristics of anaphoric linkage in learners' speech. Specifically, particular forms co-occur with anaphoric gestures depending on the information organisation in discourse. The typical nominal over-marking of maintained referents or topic elements in speech is mirrored by gestural (over-)marking of the same items. The paper discusses two ways in which this finding may further the understanding of anaphoric over-explicitness of learner varieties. An addressee-based communicative perspective on anaphoric linkage highlights how over-marking in gesture and speech may be related to issues of hyper-clarity and ambiguity. An alternative speaker-based perspective is also explored in which anaphoric over-marking is seen as related to L2 speech planning.


External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • discourse, information structure, reference tracking, gesture, second language acquisition, learner varieties, bimodal
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation structure and the dynamics of language acquisition
EditorsChristine Dimroth, Marianne Starren
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)